The human papillomavirus (HPV) can be linked to 99% of cervical cancers, and the vaccine to prevent this virus is a huge safeguard against contracting it.
While cervical cancer is not as common in the United States as other cancers, because women have wider access to regular screenings, such as Pap smears, it is still a threat, and the vaccine is recommended for every young woman, according to The Miami Herald.
Dr. Luisa López-Luciano explains that most women who develop cervical cancer have never had a Pap smear, or have not had one in the last four years. She believes that regular gynecological exams, as well as the HPV vaccine, are important steps in preventing the cancer, which develops over time, and can be detected in early stages through Pap smears.
López-Luciano, whose practice is affiliated with Homestead Hospital at Baptist Health South Florida, states that speaking to parents about vaccinating their young daughters for the Human Papillomavirus is, “a pretty straightforward conversation.” She elaborates:
“Most parents are receptive to it once I explain that the vaccine helps prevent against cervical cancer and that it’s best to get started early, before a girl becomes sexually active.”
Market Watch reports that Jim Nelson, the IPHA executive director, who has arranged a campaign in Illinois to raise awareness about the vaccine, stated:
“With this vaccine, we can significantly reduce the chances that our youth will have cancer when they are older. At the community events, health care professionals will explain why children, teens and young adults should receive the vaccine.”
According to The Miami Herald, about 12,000 new cases of cervical cancer are reported each year, according to the CDC. In comparison, more than 200,000 new breast cancers are reported. While the cancer is not as prevalent as others, doctors still recommend the Human Papillomavirus vaccine as an added safeguard against uncomfortable and possibly invasive procedures later on in life.